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Stephan Balzer

Stephan Balzer is an entrepreneur, innovator and an influential voice in the Pan-European innovation community. The consultant studied the media is one of the pioneers of the German new media scene. He worked from 1991 is 1996 at Pixel Park in various positions. In 1996 Balzer founded with friends the Lava agency in Hamburg, Which held responsibility for many Implemented innovative formats and award-winning customer projects. Lava has been sold to the UScompany IXL in 1999.

With over a decade of technology experience, Balzer founded Berlin’s idea incubation company, “red onion GmbH”, in the 90’s. By 2009 he was the first German licensee TEDx conferences and was soon appointed TEDx ambassador for Europe by the American organization TED. Today, he organizes TEDx events in the 4 major German cities of Berlin, Hamburg, Munich and Frankfurt. In 2015 Balzer started a partnership with Singularity University (SU), a Silicon Valley based organization, which was founded by Ray Kurzweil and Peter Diamandis.

Since then, he is the SU Ambassador for Germany and the head of Germany’s first SU Chapter in Berlin. Having organized more than 60 conferences a pivotal themes and subjects impacting society, science and the future – Balzer is a C-level advisor and change facilitator. Stephan Balzer is a frequent speaker on innovation and technology, an avid art collector passionate about culture, and active citizen initiating constructive discourse on global challenges facing society. He strongly believes’s in the impact of change, transformation and innovation on corporations, Organizations, institutions, public entities, and NGOs.

Anastassia Lauterbach

Dr. Anastassia Lauterbach, has served as director of Dun &Bradstreet since 2013, and is member of the Nomination and Chairwoman of Technology & Innovation Committee. Anastassia served as SVP Europe at Qualcomm, a world leader in wireless technologies, from 2011 to 2013. Anastassia serves as a Chairwoman of Censhare AG, a European private content aggregation and data insight provider. Anastassia is member of the Advisory Council Next Generation Directors for Nasdaq.

Previously, she served at Deutsche Telekom AG, an international telecommunication provider, as SVP business development and investments from 2010 to 2011. She was acting products and innovation officer from 2009 to 2010. During her time at Deutsche Telekom she additionally served as a member of the executive operating board. Prior to Deutsche Telekom she served as executive vice president, group strategy at T-Mobile International AG from 2006 to 2010, and prior to T-Mobile, she served from 1996 to 2006 in various operational and strategic roles at Daimler Chrysler Financial Services, McKinsey & Company and Munich Reinsurance Company.

She is the chief executive officer and founder of 1AU-Ventures and currently advises several U.S. and European based AI and cybersecurity companies and Investment Funds, e.g. Evolution Partners and Analytics Ventures. She is Senior Advisor for Artificial Intelligence at McKinsey & Company. She trains boards in cybersecurity and cognitive/ AI and robotics related technologies and their links to corporate governance.

She is leading author in “Artificial Intelligence Imperative. A Roadmap for Businesses”. The book was published by Praeger in April 2018. Anastassia contributed to several chapters in the book on Artificial Intelligence and Law by American Bar Association, which will be published End of 2018.

Carlo van de Weijer

Carlo van de Weijer (1966) has a Master degree in Mechanical Engineer from the University of Technology in Eindhoven and a PhD degree with honors from Technical University in Graz. He started his career in 1990 at TNO Automotive, moved to SiemensVDO in 2001 to head the Eindhoven automotive navigation development lab, since 2007 part of TomTom.

Currently, Dr. Van de Weijer is director of the Strategic Area Smart Mobility at Eindhoven University of Technology, alongside his work for TomTom.

He is chairman and member of the supervisory board of several high-tech companies and start-ups, and advises governments and industries around the world on the future of technology and mobility.

Rob Nail

Rob is the CEO and Associate founder of Singularity University. He brings a unique entrepreneurial and globally-focused approach to growing a non-traditional university as a platform to create a future of abundance where exponential technologies empower us to solve the global grand challenges.
Prior to Singularity, he co-founded Velocity11 in 1999, building automation equipment and robotics for cancer research and drug discovery. After being acquired by Agilent Technologies in 2007, he traded the CEO role for a General Manager role attempting to be a catalyst for change at a big company. He gave up in 2009 to go surfing and eventually find his true calling and biggest challenge yet with Singularity University. He is a director at Harman (HAR) and Light&Motion, a co-founder and director of Alite Designs, an active angel investor, and an advisor. Rob holds degrees in Mechanical, Materials Science and Manufacturing Engineering from UC Davis and Stanford University.

Pirjo Kiefer

Over 20 years Pirjo is creating office environments for multinational companies and medium-sized businesses as interior architect.

Since 2015 she is head of interior design services at Vitra.

Especially digitalization and globalization is pushing office design and gives physical space a new powerful meaning.

More and more companies realize the impact of custom designed office space in concern of their workflow, communication and their principal of operations. They understand as well that the invest in a high quality fit out is pushing motivation and well being of their employees too.

A deep dive in the world of the client, the translation of their business models, their strategies and histories into built space and its potential to unlock creativity and innovative capacity is still fascinating her.

Take your pleasure seriously!


Aleksandar Stojanovic

Aleksandar Stojanovic is a serial entrepreneur and expert for digital innovation in regulated and complex markets. He serves on various Advisory and Supervisory Boards. In 2014, he co-founded AVA to leverage “deep data for a safe world.”

He started his first venture at the age of 17 and sold it three years later to Bertelsmann Group. In 2001 and after trying some “real jobs”, Aleksandar incorporated his idea to build apps for the first wave of slightly “smarter” mobile phones. One year later, Japanese computer game giant Namco acquired the company. End of 2002, Aleksandar founded the digital strategy and technology consultancy Digital District. When French Publicis Groupe acquired the pioneering company in 2010, he continued as the global CEO of Digital District while taking additional leadership functions within the Publicis Groupe, such as a General Manager at Razorfish. In 2014 he left Publicis to initiate the Neon Bridges Consortium, a charitable foundation to envision and realize meaningful ideas and projects at the intersection of human life and exponential technologies. Also, he is an active contributor to the work of the German Stifterverband and selected projects of the X Prize Foundation.

Jenny von Podewils

Jenny von Podewils is a Co-Founder at HR tech startup Leapsome. Leapsome is a software platform for continuous feedback, agile performance management & OKRs and personalized learning for fast growing companies. Integrations with Gmail and Slack ensure that the platform is actively used. Data shows that Leapsome can reduce talent churn costs and boost productivity and organizational agility. Existing customers include corporates & tech companies across Europe. Jenny is an alumna of the Universities of St. Gallen and Oxford, as well Singularity University, and previously worked in media, cleantech and tech.




Florian Klages

The 37-year-old started his career as a management trainee at Axel Springer in 2007 and as of November 15th 2017 is Axel Springer’s Head of Corporate HR . Before heading the HR department of Europe’s biggest digital publisher with almost 16.000 employees, Florian held various positions across the company, ranging from head of international business development at Axel Springer International to Managing Director of BILD, the biggest newspaper in Europe.

Amin Toufani

Amin is the CEO of T Labs. He was formerly the director of strategy and Vice President of Strategic Relations at Singularity University. He brings a unique set of technological, entrepreneurial and policy perspectives to the dialogue of innovation on campus.

Before Singularity, Amin founded for-profit and social impact organizations in a range of domains including: artificial intelligence, peer to peer lending, bitcoin, human rights, international development, carbon offsetting, and solar energy.

Google Search ranks him as the world’s best guitar player – a title he readily rejects. In addition to his work at Singularity, he is building the World’s first hedge fund for the poor, as well as Reversopedia – a reverse encyclopedia composed of things we know we don’t know.

Amin has a degree in artificial intelligence from the University of British Columbia, an MBA from Stanford, and an MPA in economic policy from Harvard. He attended Harvard and Stanford concurrently and graduated an Arjay Miller Scholar.

See his talk on strategic relations at Singularity University’s Exponential Manufacturing conference here and his talk on adaptive intelligence at the Singularity University Global Summit here.


  • Finance
  • Economics
  • Blockchain
  • Cryptocurrency
  • Adaptive Intelligence

Bernhard Kowatsch

Bernhard Kowatsch is Head of the Innovation Accelerator at the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP). The Innovation Accelerator aims to accelerate disruptive innovations to reach a world without hunger supporting entrepreneurs and startups through a human-centered design and a lean startup approach. Innovations include blockchain, agri-tech, global connectivity and Artificial Intelligence.

Previously, Bernhard co-founded the ShareTheMeal app, built up WFP’s Business Innovation team and worked as Project Leader at the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) for global tech and industrial goods companies.